Asian Hornet or or Vespa velutina – An invasive non native Hornet which could devastate our native pollinators’ if we are not vigilant and act on any sightings in the UK. At present this insect is epidemic in France and has invaded Jersey in the Channel Islands.
Help to keep the Asian Hornet out of the UK
You should be careful not to accidentally bring a hibernating queen Asian Hornet into the country by means of baggage, camping equipment and within you vehicle or caravan. The Asian Hornet queen over winters and when active in the spring will make a primary nest the size of a tennis ball out of pulped wood and lay eggs which she incubates. These eggs hatch out and become workers who will take over the job of incubation and building a secondary nest where the queen will continue to lay and the explosion of Hornets begins.
There can be 200 – 300 virgin queens hatched which could over winter and so the cycle begins again. In the winter you want to look out for a large football sized next in trees, bushes and even holes in the ground – if seen these must be reported to the authorities which can be done using the free to download app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’.
The last sighting in the UK was in Christchurch Dorset in 2019 –
Each worker hornet can decapitate and take back to its nest up to 50 honey bees a day.
Beekeepers around the UK are getting together as the Asian Hornet Action Team in a bid to keep these invaders at bay.